The information of Singapore Budget 2017 can be overwhelming. But there are really only 3 things most of us will care about.
#1 Easier for young couples to purchase resale flats
With the skyrocketing HDB price, it has always been hard for the young couples to fork out downpayment for resale flats. If you are newly married, you can rejoice now because the new CPF housing grants offer you more choices when you choose to purchase a resale flat.
The increase of CPF Housing grant is $10,000 to $20,000:
- $50,000 for first-time applicants buying a four-room or smaller flat.
- $40,000 for those looking for a five-room flat or bigger.
- $20,000 Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) for those who live near their parents
- $40,000 Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) for family whose combined incomes are $5,000 and below.
This infographic summarised all the housing grants nicely.
The new grant will take immediate effect from 20 February 2017. I guess the government has realised the gap between Singaporeans’ family income and housing affordability.
#2 Pay less income tax this year
There will be a personal Income tax rebate of 20% of your income earned in 2016, capped at $500. So for those who earned a lot last year, you should be very happy.
The tax rebate will be calculated based on the amount of tax payable
- After double taxation relief (DTR) and other credits and
- Before offsetting the Parenthood Tax Rebate
You do not need to apply for this rebate. IRAS will compute and grant the rebate automatically to all tax residents.
#3 Pay more for water
Yes, there will be 30% increase of water price and everybody is talking about it. I saw this interesting image which perfectly represents Singaporeans’ moods towards this.
Frankly speaking, I think this will hardly change our behaviours of water usage. Like the increase of EPR fares or gantries, people will just get used to it.
It is the business which will be hurt and they will pass on the cost to consumers. Water Conservation Tax will be increased in two phases:
Someone from MoneySmart really nailed down to the details about how the water price is calculated in Singapore. This is an interesting read.
Want to know more about Singapore Budget?
Singapore Budget has a long history. There are some interesting fun facts which you may not be aware at all.
If you want to know more about Singapore Budget 2017. This 3 minutes video is a good summary:
Singapore Budget 2017 is a non-event for individuals like you and me. Because the Budget is designed for the overall economy in the long run. Unfortunately, we are in an era while the world changes too fast. Like what Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said, we are at the backdrop of
- Political and economic uncertainty
- Rapid technological change
- Rise in anti-globalisation sentiment around the world.
The way I look at planning, whatever assumptions you have put into for the future can be disrupted by just one event. The key is what I learned from John Mauldin years ago at his talk about “human adaptiveness”.
What we need to model the economy should be a complex yet adaptive system rather than a seemingly understandable and controllable machine. Millions of dollars have been abused from the past Budgets such as Productivity Incentive Credit (PIC) and SkillFuture Credit.
What is your view about Singapore Budget 2017? Leave your comment here and let other readers know as well.